What are your current salary expectations? What was your previous remuneration package? Let’s talk about your yearly salary review….. All topics of conversation that make a lot of people squirm!

TRP or Total Remuneration Package is the term that a lot of people in today’s job market use. They can be made up of a lot of different aspects depending on the company, industry and indeed on the circumstances/requirements of the candidate.

Simple and standard packages are made up of a base salary plus a minimum Superannuation contribution of 9.5% (which is due to incrementally rise over the coming years), some industries and organisations offer a more generous Superannuation contribution of 12.5% or even 17%. These higher contribution offerings are not as much of a selling point to someone like me, 26 years’ old paying off a mortgage as well as a wedding that would put Will and Kate’s to shame! Although a higher Superannuation contribution could be incredibly valuable to someone in the latter stages of their career with their house paid off and looking at setting up their retirement fund over the next few years.money

Some TRP’s can include company cars, car allowances, salary sacrificing, mobile phones, laptops, gym memberships, extra annual leave, uniforms and one company I spoke to even offered their employees the use of a masseuse 2 days a week (Brad, I think this would be a great idea for Optimum!).

In the past few months I have given less importance to the notion of a Total Remuneration Package and formulated my own version which I have called a Total Value Package and by this I mean, what is the total amount of value that a candidate would get from working in this role, at this organisation, at this stage in their life/career. Remuneration is the “money paid for work or a service” but what if at a particular stage in your life or career you value more than just money, cars and Superannuation? I’m not going as far as to say money isn’t important, I do live on Earth and I definitely have bills to pay the same as everyone else. But perhaps you have a young family and your partner is at home looking after the kids all day. The thought of being at work doing 80 hour weeks or commuting an hour each way would not be very attractive irrespective of the base salary so in this situation working close to home or arranging a work from home situation with your employer provides much more value to a candidate than any remuneration could.

Perhaps you have worked in the same industry for the past 10 years (say manufacturing) and wish to not only grow your career but are seeking to branch out into a new industry (e.g. professional services) to gain a wider breadth of experience. The opportunity to take on a similar level role in a new industry would provide the candidate with a large amount of value, even if the base salary is slightly less than what they were on previously. That new industry could be one that the candidate has a personal interest in and this would mean they enjoy their work significantly more and would, therefore, be happier in all facets of their life.

I suppose what I am trying to get at is, if you are a candidate considering a new position for whatever reason, ask yourself this, “what is really important to me at this stage in my life/career?”. This will help you to target your job search and will give consultants like me a much clearer goal to help you work towards.

If you are a client looking to get a candidate across the line and into your organisation, find out what is important to that person at that stage in their life/career and tailor your package or offerings around this. Utilise the relationship formed between the candidate and the recruitment consultant to provide the candidate not only with an offer they can’t refuse but also an environment in which they would never consider leaving.

The important thing to remember though is to realise that people’s circumstances change over time. New study arises, baby number 2 comes along, the first child is going to university, marriage has broken up etc. so when you are coming up to your next performance and salary review have a genuine conversation with your employee to understand their needs. This can be made easier and more accurate through continuous communication throughout the year and this will help to not only minimise staff turnover but also to increase employee engagement and ultimately employee retention.

Isaac Dufficy – Executive Consultant; Group Solutions

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